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Hurricane Sandy

Science to support Coastal resilience

Hurricane Sandy made a variety of impacts along the highly populated northeastern Atlantic seaboard in October 2012. Improved understanding of these impacts will better prepare us for the next one. As a result of supplemental funding provided by Congress, more than 25 projects are advancing our ability to provide near real-time forecasts of impacts and ecological consequences. USGS science provides a strong foundation for decision makers, planners and resource managers.

Stay up-to-date with the latest USGS news and reports.

Research Themes Overview

USGS uses a unique geospatial approach to help identify vulnerable coastal areas, track coastal ecosystem-scale responses, and forecast potential impacts to future changes. Across five major themes, we have improved monitoring networks, generated maps, data and models needed to integrate our information and put extreme storms into the greater context of climate change, sea-level rise and coastal vulnerability. USGS scientists are working to assess forecast effectiveness, improve how we share information, and identify gaps to improve the information and tools we provide. The research themes include:

The Science Plan

The Science Plan

The USGS Science Plan was developed immediately following Hurricane Sandy to coordinate continuing USGS activities with other agencies. In October 2013, the USGS received supplemental funding for specific projects that support continued recovery and restoration efforts for Hurricane Sandy. These projects are part of the science plan, "Meeting the Science Needs of the Nation in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy—A U.S. Geological Survey Science Plan for Support of Restoration and Recovery," that also identifies data and information needs to prepare us for the next storm. Much of the work in the northeastern U.S. contributes to improved capabilities for future events across the nation.  See how USGS science supports the Department of the Interior's Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.


Hurricane Season

USGS Tracks Evolution of a Fire Island Hurricane-Made Breach

10/10/2017 A study finds that although the “wilderness breach” created by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 has reached a relatively stable size and location, the channel and shoals will keep changing in response to weather. Related research shows the breach isn’t likely to increase storm-tide flooding in Great South Bay.

Hurricane Season

As Hurricane Season Opens, USGS Is Ready

06/01/2017 Scientists work in the field before, during and after landfall to improve forecasting and recovery.

Tides Hit Some Parts of the New Jersey Coast Harder Than Others

Location Matters: Sandy’s Tides Hit Some Parts of the New Jersey Coast Harder Than Others

11/17/2016 USGS researchers ground-truthed Hurricane Sandy's October 2012 storm tides in New Jersey and found northern coastal communities had significantly higher storm tides than southern ones did, though flood damage was widespread in both areas. The findings suggest that some southern New Jersey communities may be underestimating their future flood risks.

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Open-File Report: Morphologic evolution of the wilderness area breach at Fire Island, New York: 2012-15

Journal Article: The application of microtextural and heavy mineral analysis to discriminate between storm and tsunami deposits

Open-File Report: Nearshore sediment thickness, Fire Island, New York

Data Series: Coastal bathymetry data collected in May 2015 from Fire Island, New York--Wilderness breach and shoreface

Data Series: Bathymetry data collected in October 2014 from Fire Island, New York--The wilderness breach, shoreface, and bay

Journal Volume: Advances in Topobathymetric Mapping

Journal Article: Barrier island breach evolution: Alongshore transport and bay-ocean pressure gradient interactions

Data Release: High-resolution geophysical data collected along the Delmarva Peninsula 2014, U.S. Geological Survey Field Activity 2014-002-FA

Data Series: Coastal Bathymetry Data Collected in June 2014 from Fire Island, New York: The Wilderness Breach and Shoreface

Data Release: Terrestrial-Based Lidar Beach Topography of Fire Island, New York, May 2015

Journal Volume: Resetting the Bar: Establishing Baselines for Persistent Contaminants after Hurricane Sandy in the Coastal Environments of New Jersey and New York, USA

Open-File Report: Depth Calibration of the Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar, EAARL-B

Journal Article: Radar and optical mapping of surge persistence and marsh dieback along the New Jersey Mid-Atlantic coast after Hurricane Sandy

Data Release: High-resolution geophysical data collected along the Delmarva Peninsula in 2015, U.S. Geological Survey Field Activity 2015-001-FA

Data Series: Terrestrial-Based Lidar Beach Topography of Fire Island, New York, June 2014

Open-File Report: Assessing the impact of Hurricanes Irene and Sandy on the morphology and modern sediment thickness on the inner continental shelf offshore of Fire Island, New York

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Page Last Modified: Friday, October 27, 2017 (lzt)